Contouring a round face

Do you have a round face and want to achieve the chiseled cheekbone look of today’s fashion? Following fashion trends is like shooting at a constantly moving target, so put on your big-girl pants and let’s talk contour!

Besides being unbelievably easy to mess up, contour is over-used by our younger counterparts with the heavy-handedness of an axe murderer. Just try to emulate most Instagram makeovers, and you’ll look like you smeared dirt all over your face. Not a pretty sight.

That being said, done properly, it can add the stunning high-cheekbone, chiseled jaw, and on-trend look that makes our hearts flutter. Here are my four tips on how to contour a round face.

Get the Right Shade of Contour

To return to the dirt analogy, using a contour shade that is too dark, too yellow, or too pink, can ruin the whole look. Finding the correct shade is simple if you follow these guidelines.

First, check the color of your breastbone. Most of us get some sun on our breastbone, giving it a warm hue that is perfect to match in a contour. Does your skin turn a bit reddish? Does it become a darker yellow tone? Or, if you have pink undertones, does it go pinker?

This, of course, can change with the amount of time you spend in the sun, so be mindful if you are either darker or lighter than normal.

My daughter, Riley, has rosy undertones and doesn’t tan, therefore I use a color two shades darker than her skin with a matching rosy undertone. To use a yellow-ish contour wouldn’t work on her.

In contrast, my other daughter, Rachel, tans easily and has a yellow/warm undertone so her contour follows accordingly. You get the drift.

Should you use a powder or cream contour? It’s up to you, and what you are most comfortable with. Powders require a brush, and creams blend best with your fingers, so buy the product that best fits in with your personal style and taste.

As a side note, I often use a face powder as contour rather than a product designated as contour. In truth, contour is just a darker color, and this can be a darker foundation, face powder, or even foundation powder as long as the shade is on point.

Where to Put Contour on a Round Face

The idea with using contour, is to create depth and shape where there is less than we desire. For example, in the diagram, you can see that under the cheekbones, in the upper corners of your forehead, along the jawline, and even the chin area are good spots to apply contour.

The trick here is blending. Try to keep the contour in a small, distinct area without it looking like a line. In the video, I demonstrate how to do this with both a powder and a cream contour.

As you work with the product, make every effort to keep it in the area you want, rather than allowing it to spread to too large an area thus losing the chiseled look. For a wonderful powder contour try Bobbi Brown Medium Bronzing Powder, and for a cream try Well People Bio Bronzer Cream Stick.

What About Highlight?

Highlight works in conjunction with contour to add shape. For a round face, add highlight in the middle of your forehead, on your brow bones, above your cheekbones (and blush), and in the middle of your chin. Just remember, dark recedes and light brings out.

But beware; highlight that contains too much mica (the shiny bits) can set in fine lines and look garish. I prefer a cream highlight used after I powder the face, as powder can diminish highlight. My favorite highlight is YSL Touche’ Eclat, and I love it so much that if there were a fire I’d grab it and then my children.

More Advice for a Round Face

In order to add angles to a round face (thus lessening the roundness), fill in your eyebrows and create a sharper point at the top, rather than a sloping edge for a more angular face. (Please see the video tutorial above for a demonstration of this technique).

For example, I have an angular face, so I want my eyebrows to be soft and have a gentle curve. For a round face, I would sharpen the edges up a little in order to create a more angular look. Don’t go crazy though, too many sharp edges on your eyebrows, and you’ll look like you hit the wine a bit early.

This same advice goes for clothing. If you have a rounder body or larger bosom, try wearing V-neck tops and narrow, sharp lapels on your jackets as they give the illusion of a more angular body.

The benefit of the constantly moving target of fashion, is that it forces us into learning new tricks to look current, and not like we stuck our head in the dirt, slurped the wine, and went out. With today’s mask mandate, you might just get away with that!

Whatever you decide, you’ll love the benefits of a well-applied contour, even if it’s only over a Zoom meeting.

Do you try to stay current with makeup trends? What’s the latest thing you’ve experimented with? Have you tried to contour your face to lessen the roundness? Please share your favorite contour products and how you use them to your best advantage!